SET PHASERS ON STUN and Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error (2nd edition, 6th printing)


Second Edition * 251 pages * Hard Cover * 9 by 6 inches
ISBN 13: 978-0-9636178-8-0 * ISBN 10: 0-9636178-8-5
Fully Referenced


In the new and expanded second edition of 'Set Phasers on Stun' and Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error, noted designer and author Steven Casey presents 20 factual and arresting stories about people and their attempts to use modern technological creations. `Set Phasers on Stun' demonstrates - - with shocking and graphic candor - - how technological failures result from the incompatibilities between the way things are designed and the way people actually perceive, think, and act. New technologies will succeed or fail based on our ability to minimize these incompatibilities between the characteristics of people and the characteristics of the things we create and use.

Two new chapters, as well as a new introduction, have been added to this second edition. In Murphy's Law and Newton's Law, listen in as a team of Swedish rocket technicians prepare to launch a payload into space above the arctic circle, and learn how the user interface on a simple device resulted in one of the most horrific but least publicized accidents in the history of rocketry. In The Price of the Amagasaki, accompany British Navy diver James Kull as he attempts a night-time attack on a Japanese warship off Singapore while using a new and poorly understood oxygen rebreather. Read the gripping stories of a tragic air show demonstration in France involving a new computer-controlled cockpit, the disaster of the supertanker Torrey Canyon, the human factors at play in the runaway chemical reaction that we have come to know as Bhopal, and, last but not least, Set Phasers on Stun, the tragic tale of a medical patient who meets his fate beneath a poorly designed radiotherapy machine in Texas.

From space above Russia, an island in the South Pacific, the hustle and bustle of Wall Street, remote Newfoundland, a bar in Topeka, northern Iraq, and the Pacific Northwest, Steven Casey lets the reader understand first hand how the combination of technology and human limitations can go wrong.